December 14, 2018

Google’s BIG Lie: ‘Without Political Bias’

The search giant’s CEO claims there’s nothing to see here. History says he’s wrong.

It’s no secret that Google has already crossed “The Creepy Line.” A lot of sketchy conduct is happening behind the scenes, which implicates not just consumers and privacy but also politics and policy. Not that the tech giant will admit to such deleterious behavior, of course.

This week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai faced the House Judiciary Committee, where he laughably asserted, “I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way. To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”

Actually, to do otherwise would reinforce Google’s core principles, and that’s exactly what the company has done. Last year, our Thomas Gallatin reported, “Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology … ran an experiment to determine just how biased toward leftist politics were the nation’s leading social media giants. … Epstein found that Google searches returned twice as many pro-Hillary Clinton news articles as did Yahoo. Even more disturbing was Google’s targeting tactic. Men in blue states saw more than double the pro-Clinton articles than did women in red states.”

Gallatin continued, “Another study conducted by Nicholas Diakopoulos, a professor at Northwestern University, found that in December 2015 Google search results of presidential candidates showed seven out of every 10 articles were positive toward Democrats, whereas less than six out of 10 were positive for Republican candidates. … On election night, only 1% of 113 featured Google election-related searches produced articles from conservative news sources.” Furthermore, “Conservative media outlets began to see more of their content limited on leading social media sites, such as Prager University witnessing much of its content on Google-owned YouTube being labeled as restricted for no apparent reason other than the fact that it promotes conservative ideology.”

There are other machinations as well. Earlier this year, our Louis DeBroux reported that “Google finds itself the subject of a lawsuit for discriminatory practices, targeting conservative and white male employees for harassment and mistreatment simply because of their appearance and beliefs.” Google also listed the California Republican Party’s ideology as “Nazism,” censored the word “gun,” and utilizes the Southern Poverty Law Center to police YouTube.

More recently, The Daily Caller reported, “Google employees debated whether to bury conservative media outlets in the company’s search function as a response to President Donald Trump’s election in 2016, internal Google communications … reveal.”

We’d like to know what Pichai’s definition of “political bias” actually is. Because none of these functions appear to be without it.

Sadly, Democrats couldn’t care less. In fact, during Tuesday’s testimony, they basically blessed Google with carte blanche. According to Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), “Even if Google were deliberately discriminating against conservative viewpoints, just as Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting and conservative talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh discriminate against liberal points of view, that would be its right as a private company to do so, not to be questioned by government.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) chimed in, “You’ve got a right to have whatever politics you have. We could subpoena Fox News and bring them in here and beat them up about how 90% of the references on Fox News to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton are negative, but they’ve got that right under the First Amendment, and you’ve got a right under the First Amendment to have whatever political views you’ve got.”

While technically true, these aren’t fair comparisons. Unlike some of these other big names, Google — whose consumer base is substantially more sizable — isn’t a political entity. Yet its influence is second to none. As Tony Perkins observes, Pichai has “90 percent of the world’s online searches at his fingertips,” and those searches in some cases are being used as a tool for promotion and/or censorship, depending on the circumstance. Furthermore, guys like Rush Limbaugh are distinguished because they brand themselves as politically biased. If the circumstances were flipped and it was conservatives being aggrandized by Google, Nadler and Raskin would argue just the opposite.

Pichai should be ashamed for doubling down with such an egregious lie. And Democrats should be ashamed for cultivating it.

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